Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Russia's likely next president Dmitry Medvedev meets Serbia's president and
Oakland's recent gun buyback was especially ridiculous. The police offered
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Kosovo - Daltonsbriefs Country Specific
Head over for an update and some of my history research into the conflicts and problems in Kosovo and the Balkan region.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Original post: Should the IMF behave like a sovereign growth fund?
Well, I don't really understand what the IMF does so off to Wikipedia. "The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that oversees the global financial system by observing exchange rates and balance of payments, as well as offering financial and technical assistance. Its headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., USA." Wikipedia
And "Typically the IMF and its supporters advocate a Keynesian approach. As such, adherents of supply-side economics generally find themselves in open disagreement with the IMF. The IMF frequently advocates currency devaluation, criticized by proponents of supply-side economics as inflationary. Secondly they link higher taxes under "austerity programmes" with economic contraction.
Currency devaluation is recommended by the IMF to the governments of poor nations with struggling economies. Supply-side economists claim these Keynesian IMF policies are destructive to economic prosperity.
That said, the IMF sometimes advocates "austerity programmes," increasing taxes even when the economy is weak, in order to generate government revenue and balance budget deficits, which is the opposite of Keynesian policy. These policies were criticised by Joseph E. Stiglitz, former chief economist and Senior Vice President at the World Bank, in his book Globalization and Its Discontents. He argued that by converting to a more Monetarist approach, the fund no longer had a valid purpose, as it was designed to provide funds for countries to carry out Keynesian reflations." Wikipedia
Ok, then took me to an older post by Marginal Revolution asking the question Should we shut down the IMF? "Many critics argue that Bretton Woods has gone away and the world has no current financial crises. What is the IMF to do? Plus the IMF's management of crises can be counterproductive and create moral hazard."
I also spent a few minutes making sure I understood the difference between the IMF and the World Bank, which I believe is thus: The IMF works to allow countries to borrow to maintain stability of currencies ... the World Bank allows grants and loans for "developement" that in theory would eliminate poverty or other social malaise. I'll be honest the libertarian in me was struck with a giant ..... Who cares. They obviously aren't accomplishing a ton, and in many sectors of the world they are propping up non-democractic regimes.
Until further reading on the matter, I am bent toward abolishing and shuttering both. We could save some money, we could allow commercial entities to step in and make a profit, we could stop encouraging nations to increase their taxes for sure!
Friday, February 22, 2008
Obama is anti-gun.
Obama is pro-illegal immigrant.
Obama is religiously/racially extreme.
Obama is anti-democratic, fomenting a cult of personality.
Obama's wife is an anti-American loose cannon.
Obama has no experience and his platform is all image, no substance
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
BELGRADE, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Serbia said on Monday it was recalling its
ambassador to the United States after Washington recognised Serbia's breakaway
province of Kosovo as independent.
Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica
told a special session of parliament the U.S. move continued NATO's aggression
which began when it bombed Serbia in 1999 to expel its forces from Kosovo and
stop a brutal Serbian crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists.
Serbia would announce similar steps against any other countries that recognised
Kosovo but did not mention the European Union states that also said on Monday
they were recognising Pristina.
Kostunica said recognition showed the
"true face" of America's policy of force.
"Kosovo has not been lost but a
new page in our history has begun. The main goal of Serbia's state policy is the
return of Kosovo to Serbia," he said in the address carried live on state
He said an EU police and justice mission that would soon be
deployed to Kosovo was illegal and represented a breach of Serbian sovereignty.
He appealed for peaceful protests by Serbs after two days of at times
violent protests in Belgrade.
"Serbia has to maintain stability in order
to regain Kosovo," he said.
Kosovo declared independence on Sunday after
almost nine years under U.N. administration.
The United States and the
EU's biggest nations recognised it as a new country on Tuesday.
AP Reported a Russian Response with some implicit threats too:
Russia’s parliament said Monday Moscow had the right to review its stance
on separatist states in former Soviet republics, if Kosovo is recognized as
independent, Interfax news agency reported.
Sovereignty for Kosovo “would give Russia every right to build a new
format for its relations with self-proclaimed states,” said a declaration
adopted by both houses of parliament after Kosovo’s declaration of independence
“Now that the situation in Kosovo has become an international
precedent, Russia should view existing territorial conflicts taking into account
the Kosovo scenario,” the declaration said.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Albanian and American flags have been on prominent display
Kosovo's parliament has unanimously endorsed a declaration of independence from Serbia, in a historic session.
Celebrations went on into the night after Prime Minister Hashim Thaci promised a democracy that respected the rights of all ethnic communities. Serbia's PM denounced the US for helping create a "false state".
A split later emerged at the Security Council, when Russia said there was no basis for changing a 1999 resolution which handed Kosovo to the UN. Seven Western countries said it was quite clear the situation had moved on.
See a map of Kosovo's ethnic breakdown
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Second, the United States has backed this drive for freedom. Look closely at the list of dignitaries that will be in attendance, EU and NATO. Really only Russia and former puppet Serbia will decry this step in independance for the mostly Alabanian country.
My thought? If you are Serbian and live in Kosovo, live in freedom and peace. If you can't control yourself, move to Serbia. The times of ethnic cleansing are over, time for people to get over their very slight differences in ethnicity.
From AlertNet Reuters:
PRISTINA, Serbia, Feb 14 (Reuters) - The last time Kosovo declared
independence in 1990 it went unrecognised and ignored. When it splits from
Serbia this weekend, it will have the support of the West, which sees no way
back. The breakaway province is poised to cement a secession that its 2
million Albanians believe became irreversible the moment NATO went to war to
save them from Serb forces in 1999. "These will be days of joy and
happiness," Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said on Wednesday, flanked by the commander of NATO troops in Kosovo and the head of the United Nations mission that has run the province since the war.
"This is a decision based on the sacrifice and political will of the citizens," said the former guerrilla commander. The date for the declaration has not been announced, but political sources say plans are in place for Sunday. Certain of recognition from the United States and most members of the European Union, Kosovo will become the last state to emerge from the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. Backed by Russia, Serbia will reject the move. It will encourage Kosovo's 120,000 remaining Serbs to do the same, worsening a de facto ethnic partition that will weigh on the new state for years to come.
A new flag is being prepared and the Kosovo Philharmonic is primed to perform Beethoven's Ode to Joy to kick off the celebrations. Money has been set aside to import electricity between Feb 15 and 20 to ensure crippling power cuts do not spoil the party. The 16,000-strong NATO-led peace force has stepped up security around dozens of scattered Serb enclaves. Serbia has promised retaliation against the new
state and its backers -- including possible border closures and the expulsion of
ambassadors. But there will be no return of the Serb army and police that pulled
out in 1999 under NATO bombs.
SERBIA IN CRISIS to read the rest of the story
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Does Barack intend to distmantle the US-NATO-Israel alliance on his first day in office?
I have stayed away from attacking Hillary or Barack, since obviously I support John McCain and think he can beat either one of them. But, down deep in places I'd prefer not to talk about, I am worried ... deeply worried that Barack Obama is a real bad thing for the United States.
Sure, I dislike the Clintons and suffered the 90's. But this is different, this could be a selling of our cutlure, and societal norms to a very flashy talking leader. I am afraid of Barack, there I've said it.
Monday, February 11, 2008
The time for Hamas is over, Israel has signalled interest in allowing Palestine to become a full fledged country. With the leadership of George Bush and the United States, this could actually happen this year. But, Hamas needs to go, and the Palestinian people need to do the work to get rid of them.
Israel threatened to topple the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers on Monday following a
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Now the fanatics seem to be losing ground, as they are in Afganistan and Iraq and Pakistan, so it's time in my estimation to start talking about elections and democracy and freedoms. Postponing this talk is the first step to despotism.
"Forty-nine fighters from al-Shabab surrendered to the authorities in Mogadishu
Saturday, February 09, 2008
But, in the long run Kenya needs to have a free and open election, and the President needs to be accepted by law not by power.
Kenya's feuding parties have moderated their positions at talks on President
Despite the apparent signs of progress, a lasting deal was still far from
This is just another terrific move to move new leaders into positions to help change Porter County and ultimately Northwest Indiana. Great work Mayor Costas!
Conover, a former council member and current Valparaiso city worker, beat Robert
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Time for Russia to give up on stealing independance from Kosovo and walk away from the Serbia they screwed up in the first place.
Just as Russia "liberated" Poland from the Nazis only to subject it to another
Just like the USSR before it, Russia is prepared to
This is a powder keg, and not all that far from Kenya as well.
Rebels from Sudan's Darfur region said on Tuesday that their fighters were
Chad says Sudan is behind the latest assault on Deby's rule because it does not
Sunday, February 03, 2008
1. ABC News showcases the ever-growing war along the Sudan and Chad border in Africa. Basically all the national lines surrounding the Darfur region are inflamed with tribal and national war frenzy. Sudanese may well be helping the Chadian rebels. Chadian troops and money may be assisting the Sudanese rebels. There is a general havoc around Darfur. Of course United Nations efforts have been all but useless.
2. Some theorists call for Afganistan "surge" similar to the one working now in Iraq to shove the Taliban and Al-Queda forces further into retreat and the hands of Pakistan's army. U.S. Presidential candidate Guiliani had endorsed this kind of action prior to removing his name from selection and endorsing John McCain. Most would assume that both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would not favor any additional troops in the region.
3. Hamas, in a further move to try and shore up control of Gaza, agree to try and control the border crossing into Egypt. Israel has nothing to gain, and more to gain actually if thousands of gazans leave and head to Egypt for good. Hamas needs to gain some foothold before they are looked on as merely terrorist and unworthy of negotiations.
4. Tensions continue to be aggrevated in northern Turkey by Kurdish rebels bent on forming a homeland in northern Turkey and northern Iraq. This area, once the Assyrian empire, is not really even one tribe or people group. But the Kurds would prefer to fight it out and try to gain some foothold in both countries. Sadly, they would gain so much more if they would be the light of democracy instead of totalitarian islamacists.
5. One of my pet projects, or hobbies moreso, is to watch and learn from Kenya. First, because I've been there and second because I feel it has the best chance of reaching true democracy first on the continent. Problem one, tribal tensions are high due to the stolen election. Problem two, the terrorists have a foothold near the east coast so western nations are trying to keep some order, call it security, or we'll lose another country to bedlam. Sadly, this was a country that favored Christ and featured a leader that was supposedly a believer.
Friday, February 01, 2008
CNBC tries all morning to say that Google is in trouble, I don't think so, they are the original creators. Microsoft is not, they buy creators. More later